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From the photographer:
This wedding was fantastic. It was Scottish inspired, as the bride and her family are Scottish. It was very eclectic, but in an elegant, creative and beautiful way. There were so many details. It was a small untraditional wedding; they had Pendleton Wool Blankets that were embroidered on the back of the chairs, which every guest got to take home, the bride's cloak was also made of Pendleton wool, as well as the grooms vest. It was in a lodge located in Leavenworth, Washington; a German inspired town that looks like you are in the Bavarian Swiss alps next to in orchard in the fall.
Pre-register if you can, this will save you time on the day of the show and possibly money, as some tickets are discounted if you pre-register.
Bring business cards. There will definitely be drawings available at select booths, and dropping in a business card takes way less time than filling out your info over and over again.
Wear comfortable shoes. You will be walking and talking all day so shoes and water are absolute musts. Heels might look like the right choice, but flats will feel like the right choice.
Create a wedding email. All of the vendors you talk to and more will be emailing you after the show, and that is a ton of emails to sort through. Have a special email just for wedding contacts. This is a great email to associate with your wedding website as well!
Know what you want and what vendors you still need. Don’t waste your time getting caught up in conversations with caterers if you’ve already put a deposit down on a caterer. There will be tons of vendors, so spend your time with actual prospects. Know what you want from your vendors-to-be as well, so that you can ask them right off the bat if what you want is doable or not.
Be ready to make a deposit on that perfect vendor. You want to be ready in case you find, for example, that perfect venue with your perfect date available. Be ready to make some of those deposits you’ve been holding off on, especially because many vendors have deals and discounts for signing up at the show or closely after the show.
Bring a friend! Especially if you generally find yourself being easily talked into things, bring someone who can keep a level head and will tell you to check yourself before committing to something you might not really want.
Bring a pen, so that you can take notes on business cards or bring colored highlighters so that you can remember which were your favorite vendors you talked to via color coding
Have questions ready. Bring along your copy of Pacific Coast Weddings and flip to the Questions for your Vendors section. Add any questions of your own to the list before you get there. Don’t forget to take notes, because there are a lot of conversations to be had and you don’t need the stress of trying to remember everything.
Ask vendors if they are offering a deal. As mentioned before, many vendors will be offering discounts and deals or giveaways for bridal show attendees.
Bring snacks, but know there might be samples. Make sure that you have a way to keep your energy up, whether it's a protein bar or a package of almonds, be prepared to need to fuel up. There will probably be options there as well in the way of free samples of cake and appetizers, so leave some room for sampling what all the vendors have to offer.
Have your phone at the ready to take pictures of ideas you like. Many booths will be set up with décor and trendy ideas, so take lots of pictures of whatever strikes your fancy.
From the photographer:
You want to wow with your bouquet, so why not choose something other than roses or lilies? Floral alternatives are on the rise. The following are alternatives to traditional floral bouquets, but any of these options could be used with traditional flowers as well. Add something unique and special to your wedding theme with a creative approach to your choice of flowers.
Yes, it is finally time for millennials to start getting married, and they bring with them the trend of succulents. A succulent bouquet is a modern trend that will surprise your guests and won’t wilt like a traditional floral arrangement. Color-wise, a succulent bouquet is usually very green, and is a great option if it complements your general color palette. Succulent bouquets are beautiful, sleek and modern. Succulents are a low maintenance centerpiece for the reception, require little water and won’t stop looking fresh throughout the day. This idea will leave you with a home full of plants after the fact, or you can let guests bring home the arrangements as wedding favors.
Herbs and wheat
For a different look, try non-floral naturals. Herbs can create a very different and natural looking bouquet. These bouquets call to mind a farmhouse wedding in the country. Another option in the same vein is wheat. These bouquets look rustic and natural, as well as being very neutral in color. A bouquet of herbs and/or wheat is an non-traditional approach that will also give your wedding a taste of nature. Using herbs and wheat gives your wedding a more sustainable feel, and will really add something special to the right venue. Use herbs and wheat to take your outdoor wedding or rustic barn wedding to the next level.
There are many ways to incorporate fruit into your bouquet. A subtle option would be berries or grapes while a less subtle choice would be lemons, oranges or pomegranates. Citrus may look best in a bouquet cut open, while a pomegranate must remain whole to protect the dress from red stains. Figs are a beautiful fruit, especially when cut open as an accent in a floral bouquet and pair well with white flowers and blackberries, or other purple colored fruits or vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are increasingly being seen on wedding tables. We aren’t talking about those huge and colorful pineapple and strawberry bouquets, we are talking bouquets and centerpieces that look like they came straight out of a cornucopia. Rustic fruit is on the rise.
Cotton looks beautiful in a bouquet, and is far more original than baby’s breath as a white accent. This is a unique look that will give your bouquet an ethereal vibe. This is also a lovely and simple centerpiece option and general décor choice. Cotton stems look lovely in mason jars, but also in empty wine bottles. Add twine or burlap for a rustic look, or use glass and silver toned plants like lamb’s ear, dusty miller or lavender to create a more delicate aesthetic.
Books and paper flowers
This might sound a little out there, but how many literature loving brides would love to walk down the aisle accompanied by their favorite and most beautifully bound books? What book would you carry with you down the aisle? These book bouquets can take many forms. Handmade paper flowers made out of book pages are one option, but others include looping a ribbon through a single book and carrying it like a purse, with flower accents attached, or tying a few books of descending size into a stack with accents of ribbon and plants. Have each bridesmaid carry a styled book of beautiful binding that is important to you as the bride, or have everyone carry paper flowers. Old books make an interesting centerpiece, and it will make your wedding stand out. Stack books under compact or simple flower arrangements to give them some height. Old books add to a vintage aesthetic. Another option for centerpiece books is folded books, which are an artful way to imply you are opening your life to a new chapter. This theme of literature and words can really carry your wedding and opens many doors for general decorations, invitations and even wedding favors.
Feathers are a nice accent that can be added into a floral bouquet or combined with other non-floral alternatives. Different types of feathers will add to your aesthetic in different ways. Long, dark feathers will add drama and intensity, while small light colored feathers will lighten a bouquet’s aesthetic and add a delicacy to the look. Consider your venue when you consider feathers. Feathers may add to the rustic outdoors feeling of your wedding, or could add some vintage elegance depending on how you tackle your feathery bouquet.
Many of these options can stand alone as a bouquet, but feel free to mix and match as well. Fruit would look lovely with herbs and succulents, just as a succulent decorating a book would be a lovely surprise bouquet alternative. Using these options as accents in floral bouquets and centerpieces is also a possibility.
Incorporating many of these alternatives will take skills and tricks like using hidden wires to secure fruits into a bouquet form, so it might be best to hire an experienced florist when trying for more complex mediums. If you plan on doing some or all of your arrangements yourself, make sure you are researching the execution, consulting a florist at the very least and leaving yourself plenty of time to practice.
Ask your florist what alternative mediums they are comfortable with and go from there. Botanikal in Bellingham provided us with our featured photos of alternative floral arrangements. Find other Pacific Northwest florists here.
Arrangements by Botanikal in Bellingham
Alessandra de Osma and Prince Christian of Hanover got married in Lima, on March 16. This couple had a two weddings, having a civil ceremony in London months before the Peruvian church wedding of March 16, according to Harper’s Bazar. Jorge Vázquez designed the lace gown, which featured a high neck and long sleeves. De Osma’s veil matched the length of her train, which was long, and needed to be carried by her half-sister in law, who wore a black and pink mini-dress also according to Harper’s Bazar. Alessandra de Osma wore the gorgeous and famous Hanover Floral Tiara, which has been worn in several other Hanoverian weddings according to Town and Country Magazine. The groom wore a dapper 3-piece suit according to Hello Magazine.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry wed on May 19 at Winsor Castle. The Duchess of Sussex wore a dress with an epic train and veil much in the tradition of royal weddings this year. According to People, the Duchess of Sussex wore for a tiara the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau, made in 1932, but the detachable broach at the center of the tiara dates back to the late 1800s and belonged to Queen Mary before the tiara was passed down to Queen Elizabeth. At the ceremony, a simple welsh gold band was slipped onto Meghan Markle’s newly royal finger, as is tradition according to Town and Country Magazine. The engagement ring was a different story. Town and Country Magazine reported that Prince Harry designed the custom ring himself, and sourced the main stone from Botswana, and the two other stones came from Princess Diana’s jewelry collection. Each part of the ring seems to hold significance for the couple.
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank wed at Winsor Castle on October 12. Princess Eugenie wore an open backed dress famously showcasing her scars from her battle with scoliosis. She did not wear a veil with the intention of not covering up her scars. However, this break with tradition was perhaps rectified by her wearing of the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara, which served as a gorgeous and colorful addition to her wedding outfit. Queen Elizabeth II loaned her granddaughter this diamond and emerald beauty for the wedding says Today. Today also stated that this tiara is rarely worn publically by royals, so the choice surprised many. Most unique tiara of the year? Hands down Princess Eugenie.
Princess Ayako and Kei Moriya wed on October 29 at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo. The Japanese princess officially lost her royal status that very day, as she chose to wed a commoner according to Japan Times. She wore traditional court attire, which is traditionally very colorful. Princess Ayako’s hair was done up in an ancient style for noblewomen. It seems that the affair was very traditional, and Japan Times reported on many well wishes for joy and a happy household.
Duchess Sophie of Württemberg and Count Maximilien of Andigné wed at the Castle of Tegernsee on December 13. This couple was another who had a civil ceremony some months before the wedding, opting for a later, more lavish public affair according to Daily Mail. Duchess Sophie’s train and veil were also quite long, and her dress featured a boat neck and three quarter length sleeves. Duchess Sophie wore in the way of family heirlooms a beautiful diamond tiara, and an impressively intricate lace veil according to Brides.com.
The royal weddings this year were all affairs to remember. From the outfits to the settings, these weddings have set trends that we will see long into the New Year. Long trains, full length veils and colored stone accents have taken their place among 2018 wedding trends, but will surely carry over and continue effecting trends for a long time to come. Even royal brides are beginning to break with tradition in favor of personal style, and that should inspire us all.
There are some famous weddings that have broken this tradition over the years. Elizabeth Taylor, for example, did not wear white to several of her weddings. She wore emerald green in the ’50s, yellow in the ’60s, and a rainbow gown in the ’70s. More recently, jewelry designer Caitlin Mociun wore colorful stripes to her wedding in Puglia in September this year. In short, the whole palette is yours to consider when it comes to color.
There are also happy mediums between rainbow and white. Portia De Rossi famously fudged the white rule with a pale pink gown in 2008, and Gwen Stefani wore an ombré white to pink gown in 2002. Put your own spin on this tradition.
Detachable trains are a convenient option that will help your dress to be more practical during the reception. Another option is a train that pins up in the back for the reception. Drama in the dress is great for the ceremony, but make sure you will be able to enjoy your reception without worrying about being stepped on.
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1. Include things that imply celebration. Mini Champagne! Champagne is a good option, but mini wines or a wine bottle with a personalized label with their name on it, the wedding date or a fun rhyme about bridesmaids will add a fun touch. A monogrammed wine glass is a nice addition to this idea. Be sensitive to your bridesmaids with this; if one of your bridesmaids doesn’t drink, include a fun artisanal soda or a kombucha.
2. Pamper your bridesmaids. Include a bath bomb in the scent of their favorite flower or bubble bath so that she has a fun way to de-stress.
3. Glitter or confetti is an aesthetic choice to consider. Glitter, yes, will get everywhere, but if you think your bridesmaids will appreciate a good glittering, go for it. Another option is confetti poppers, which are less eternally messy yet still fun.
4. Personalized cards are a very nice touch. Try making the cards yourself, or at the very least write a personal note in each card. Add a photo of you and your bridesmaid with a nice sentiment on the back. This is a nice touch that shows each bridesmaid that you are thinking of her specifically.
5. A cute planner. They need somewhere to write down the wedding date, after all. This is also a nice nod to the responsibility they will be taking on as a bridesmaid.
6. There is a lot of potential wordplay when it comes to hair ties, so include some fun hair ties with a rhyme or joke about tying the knot.
7. Something useful is a nice touch. A nice monogrammed water bottle or travel mug is a gift that keeps on giving.
8. Soaps, candles, and other scent-based items are a nice opportunity to personalize each kit. What scents do each of your bridesmaids love?
9. Time together is much more valuable to your bridesmaids than an expensive bauble. Show your bridesmaids that girl time is still going to be a priority with vouchers for a spa day together, or an invitation to a special bridesmaid’s brunch. This doesn’t have to break the bank either, you could make brunch at your house and serve mimosas to give it a more personalized touch.
When it comes to bridesmaids, monogramming is in. Put their names on whatever you can. Their name is going to mean more than the word bridesmaid, so save the bridesmaid sashes for the bachelorette party or the bridal shower.
You can always personalize, and have slightly different kits for different bridesmaids. Try coordinating kits in each bridesmaid’s favorite color.
Make the maid of honor’s kit a little bigger than the others. She will be taking on extra responsibilities after all. She deserves something extra.
Make sure you package the kit so that nothing breaks, but also consider how it looks. Make sure it’s cute. Boxes are popular, because everything can be laid out and set in place, but nice reusable totes are a good alternative. Baskets are also a possibility if your gifts are a little bulkier.
If a kit isn’t your style, perhaps, just give a simple bracelet or earrings with a nice note.
What do you want your first dance to say? You’ve said your vows, now show it with your body language. Trust, grace, love, and laughter all have a place in your first dance. How do you want to start your marriage? In this day and age, there is a dance for all occasions. While you could do the dougie if you wanted, there is a way to pick a dance form that reflects how you want to start off your marriage.
If you are looking for elegance and sophistication, of course, I would recommend a waltz. Waltzes are ageless dances that convey grace and class and it says volumes about listening and working together. Waltz is the most popular wedding dance of our time, because it is a classic that says a lot of wonderful things about teamwork and truly hearing each other.
Are you a couple who prides themselves on their passion? Perhaps you should start the ball rolling with a tango. A tango is going to emphasize the raw power within your relationship, and demonstrates a confidence in yourselves that is truly unique among dances.
A swing dance (and I recommend west coast swing) is adventurous. Infuse it with some lindy hop moves to show that fun loving side of your relationship. The fun lindy hop moves also demonstrate trust and bravery. A swing or lindy hop will show that you are risk takers with a penchant for excitement.
Intimacy and deep feelings will come through clearly in a rumba. Rumbas are very sweet, but very passionate, and Latin dances like this will make you feel like you and your new spouse are the only ones in the room.
Something that is pure fun would be a Charleston. This dance form is straight out of the 1920s. The embellishing moves that can be thrown in with the basic steps will cause laughter and smiles. While the footwork seems complicated, a lesson or two would be able to break it down, and the footwork will become second nature in no time. You will be unique with this dance choice, as it is neither traditional nor very serious, but if fun and laughter are your priorities in marriage, why not show that with your dance?
Looking for something easy to learn? Try a salsa. Salsa is easy to pick up, and always looks beautiful. It’s a fun dance where, once you’ve got the basic steps down, you don’t really have to think anymore. It is a nice choice if you just want to improvise with your spouse within a loose structure. A salsa says that you think on your feet, and you like to roll with the punches.
A personal favorite of mine is the cha-cha. Cha-cha is playful and fun, but it can also be complex and full of surprises and unexpected turns. With this dance, you will be showing that you are hard workers who love learning and growing together. Cha-cha shows that you meet challenges head on, and with quick, solution-based thinking. This dance will keep you on your toes, but so can marriage.
Another thing to consider is a medley of any combination of any of these dances. Hiring a choreographer will make this easier, but make sure you tell the choreographer what you want to say with your first dance, and why you’ve chosen to include each type of dance.
In the end, it’s just a dance, but it is also the beginning of a magical new chapter in your life. Your first dance can say something about who you as a couple want to be in this marriage. Use the first dance to set an intention within yourself to be mindful in marriage, and aware of your strengths as a couple. What will your first dance say about you? What will it say to your family and friends?
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